Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Kiwis get linking!!

Yay! I already have some links on my new blog, Creative Kiwis.  Be sure to get over there and link up your creations.

Remember, anything creative that you have made can be linked and at the beginning of each week I will be showcasing one or two Creative Kiwis with links to their online shops (if they have one).

Also, any tutorials you would like me to include, please let me know and I will add them too.

Remember this beautiful belly....

henna tum

Well... last Friday the little belly dweller arrived!!  Congratulations to my friend and her family. It is very exciting news. Can't wait to meet this little boy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Blog for Creative Kiwis

I love Kiwi Mummy Blogs and I have discovered from constantly checking out the blogs on there, that us Kiwis have an amazing amount of creative talent. So, Ive created a new blog, Creative Kiwis.  Its a place for Kiwis (and others, we are inclusive here!) to meet and share their creations.

Picnik collage3

Each week I'll have a Linky Party where you can link up a post of your creation and check out the others for inspiration.

I will showcase one or two Creative Kiwis each week and this will be your chance to get your name in lights :) and I can also link it back to your online shop too for some extra exposure.

There will also be the opportunity to submit tutorials and I will sort out a page for them shortly.

Im also going to put on a button but Im still figuring it out...

So, what are you waiting for, get on over there and link up you Creative Kiwis!!

Weekend: Where am I? Winner

We have a winner!! Jennifer from Little Kiwi Chick correctly guessed that I was somewhere above Waipu and Langs Cove in Northland, NZ. So Im going to send her off a little surPRIZE.Check back again next week as I will do another one, and dont worry, it wont all be beautiful NZ pictures!


[caption id="attachment_1303" align="aligncenter" width="354" caption="My crazy kids in the water"]My crazy kids in the water[/caption]


Today we went to the beach and it was so cold... but my children went swimming! Not me, I put on a jumper, wrapped up in a towel and read my book!  I took advantage of the drive to do some more crochet too.


bubba at the beachsonic at beach

Little Miss Sunshine and I have whipped up some yummy Dahl for dinner!! I love Indian food and its so cheap and easy to prepare.  Yum.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Creative Kiwis Link Party

So here it goes, our first Link Party.

Here's how Creative Kiwis works

1. Enter a link (specific blog post, not your homepage) using the Linky Tools below to something you made that you want to share. It can be something you sewn, crafted, painted, baked, or anything else you made that you want to share.
2. Try to check out at least one other link on the list (and I'm sure they'd love it if you left a comment too).


Welcome to Creative Kiwis the blog where Kiwis can meet to share their creativity and find inspiration!

Each week I'll be putting up a Linky Party where you can link up posts of what you have been creating. This can be ANYTHING... sewn, crocheted, knitted, painted...etc.

I will be showcasing one or two posts each week and am happy to link back to those with online shops.

Also, I am going to create a tab with tutorials, so if you have one you would like me to include, please let me know.

I will work on creating a button (with my limited html skills) so hopefully I can figure that out soon and you can grab my button when you link your post.

So go on, dont be shy, link up!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend where am I? (there is a prize!!)

This is your chance to play a little game, with surPRIZES too!

All you have to do is become a follower on my blog and leave a comment guessing where I am taking the picture from.

I will have a few clues ...  The first person to correctly guess wins a little surPRIZE! Otherwise at the end of the week the person who is closest is the winner.  Go on, have a go!!!

So dont tell me where the photo is of.. tell me where I am taking it from? 

If this is fun I will try to do it every weekend but due to my limited travels it might be something a bit more obscure :)

Here's this weeks one:

[caption id="attachment_1218" align="aligncenter" width="562" caption="Where am I?"]Where am I?[/caption]

Clue one : Home is where the heart is....

Im hooked!! (pun intended!)

Yep! Ive done it - I have finally got the crocheting thing!! Oh and its sooooo addictive.

Yesterday I bought one of those weekly magazine things that cost on $2.95 for the first one and then about $50 for each one after that... and it was on how to crochet.  Must have been popular as I got the last one at the newsagents.

The book

I only wanted the first one so I could get the basic instructions.  It was so easy to follow and the pictures were big and clear... I have tried to learn for months, Ive tried You Tube tutorials, book after book from the libray, even poor Mum tried to show me.. and it just didnt click .

So I spent yesterday afternoon crocheting this beautiful blanket...(please excuse the photos, they were taken on my phone)

the blanket.. for Sylvanian families
the blanket.. for Sylvanian families

hehe... it barely fits over one of the kids Sylvanian family creatures... it took me hours to do this teeney tiny little rectangle!!

Anyway it was fun so now Ive started on a dishcloth in a lovely bamboo cotton. It might take a while and already looks a funny shape but Im hoping it will get better as I go *grin*.

a wonky dishcloth
a wonky dishcloth

And if you want to see gorgeous crochet that has inspired me to learn.. take a look here and here (and be sure to check out the rest of their blogs while you are there  - they are two of my favourites)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a new game on my blog.. with surPRIZES!!

Giveaway at Piou Piou

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="129" caption="Borrowed from Piou Piou"]Borrowed from Piou Piou[/caption]

Piou Piou is having a giveaway.  She is giving away two fabulous fabric storage bins.  Head on over here to enter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My creative space.. little birdies

My creative space this week has been a hive of activity.. or maybe a birdcage of activity.

I found these little bird cages for $2 each! they are very cute, only 10cm tall. Of course they needed a little bird... and red polka dot of course :)

bird cagebirdcage 2

 And Ive been making more noticeboards/photo boards

yo yo noticeboardnotice board yo yonoticeboard cupcake

please excuse this terrible photo...the denim is actually supposed to be the same as the one above...

Be sure to head over to Kootoyoo to check out the other creative spaces today...

Giveaway at The Wardrobe

Check out this gorgeous giveaway at The Wardrobe, isnt that bag just stunning.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320" caption="Image borrowed from The Wardrobe"]Image borrowed from The Wardrobe[/caption]

Get on over there to enter the giveaway!

Spend free month update...

Once a spender, always a spender I think. I tried very hard but I couldn't last the distance.

I guess a whole month without spending was a little bit unrealistic to launch straight into and I have to be honest and say that somewhere along the way its come a bit undone.

I started off really well and mostly just stayed at home, because then there is no temptation. Im a tactile person so shopping online is not something I do very often so Im safe there.  But as soon as I have to go to the mall, well things fall to pieces.

It started with Little Miss Sunshine needing a one piece swimsuit for school for swimming lessons. She's very tall and long in the body so we usually only buy two pieces, but of course they aren't allowed those for school. So I had no choice but to go and buy her one.  And then had bought a few other things.... telling myself, no I can control it (hahahaha... yeah, not quite!).

The next thing was our mixer is broken.  I like to bake and its hard without a mixer. So I went looking for a new one.  Stu had taken back the broken one and got a refund so Im really not spending as we got the money back, but the problem is I came home with other things .. and still no mixer!!!

Then Little Miss Sunshine joined the all schools choir and they had to wear black pants, no tights and no jeans. She was in the front row too. So I spent a whole day at a local, very large mall that has just about every large chain store you can think of and hunted high and low for black dress pants... of course I came away with no pants.. but a birthday pressie for a friend, and a few other things.

So yep, Im a big fraud who cant go a whole month without spending!!!

But... the next thing we are trying is that dirty B word.... Budget.  Ewwww!!! We've decided on an amount for groceries, petrol and spending and I thats all I will have.

Wish me luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The weekend that was....

This weekend has been a busy one.

Yesterday Little Miss Sunshine had her final netball game for the season and a little break up party.

keeley netball medal

Here's my girl with her medal

And today we went to a Showcase of talent for the local Catholic Schools.  Little Miss Sunshine was a part of the All Schools Choir. They sounded great and the other talent was AMAZING too.

keeley choir

Its great seeing her getting involved in sport and the arts.  Makes this parent's heart sing watching her child blossoming!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Parenting Magazine interview

Thanks to Simone at Great fun 4 kids, I was recently interviewed (via email) by Hannah for an article in Parenting Magazine, about Mummy bloggers.

I was so excited to get this opportunity and can't wait to see the article in print. I used to love this magazine when I lived in NZ and my kids were past the Treasure's magazine stage.

Thanks Simone for recommending me to Hannah.

Dad Update

My Dad is home now and is slowly getting back to himself.  He still has a long journey ahead and it is pretty full on for my Mum who is trying to look after him and work full time.
But they are positive and just dealing with all the little curve balls... like trying to get Dad in and out of the car! He has a cast on from his foot to his hip and then his other leg he has a prosthesis and a hip replacement so it is very hard to get him in and out. I suggested mum put him on the ride on lawn mower = hahaha. He's still sleeping heaps and his body needs this for him to heal.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and good wishes. 

I am still struggling with being here and just jumping on a plane to go back and give Mum a hand.

After a beautiful 28 degrees (celcius) yesterday, today it is raining... so nice, feels like NZ *grin*

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My creative space

This week I have been making noticeboards....


I made this for a gift but I'm thinking I might sell them at the markets.....

here's  a couple I made before...one for the sister of  the above recipient and the other was for my giveaway (which I didnt take a photo of without the phone case).

amys noticeboardgiveaway prize 2

School Art Auction

Our school is having an art auction shortly and there has been a big drive to get pieces donated.  When Mum was over she ran a class for some of the teachers to give them a go at learning her style of art. I would love to share some of her pieces here so I will ask her if I can. She's very talented.

So of course I left it until the last minute and hurriedly made this scrappy style canvas..  I was inspired by an idea from somewhere on the internet and made it my own, but I cant find the link for the life of me and I apologise to the person I was inspired by because I would normally link back.

home is where the heart is

I used buttons for the apples on the tree and did lots of stitching (which is a bit hard to see).

Check out this giveaway

Pop over here to check out this gorgeous giveaway. I have made a few tees for Bubba with recycled doilies on but nothing this cute.. I want to win one of these!

Handamde in SA Giveaway

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beach calm

Today, with all the little cherubs safely delivered to school and kindy, I took myself for a drive to the beach at Redcliffe Peninsular. I have always found the beach has a very calming effect on me and I needed to get some space and fresh air.  I was a bit annoyed I didnt take my camera because when I got there the weather was picture perfect, the sky stunning blue.

So here's a couple of pics I took on my mobile phone

recliffe 2


stunning or what?

Where do you find your peace?

(I have had an email to say its hard to leave comments on my blog and it wont always accept them... can you email me if you've also had this problem.. kiwiatheartdesigns@gmail.com)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making positive changes

This weekend has been all about making positive changes.

Today I forced myself out of bed at 6.15am and headed down towards Brisbane to the Northey Street Organic Markets (read about it here).  And I was instantly hooked.  Beautiful fresh organic produce, meat, eggs, a whole stall of gluten free baking products (organic too), fresh milk, and one very yummy Almond cookie (gf) for my brekkie.  It was worth the drive through 5000 traffic lights, getting breath tested just before I got on the motorway, having messy hair and the tenuous parking. Next week I will be going with a list and most of our grocery budget.

I have decided with my thyroid problems and coeliacs I need to be much more aware of the food I am eating, but just as importantly, what my children are eating.  Evidence shows there are a lot of things that can affect the thyroid and these include Fluoride (which thanks to the government is heavily dumped into our drinking water under the wrong assumption it will reduce dental cavities -which there is no evidence to show it actually does). So we switched to drinking pure water (unfortunately we buy this in a box until we can afford a proper filter system which probably carries its own issues).

We have also switched to eating only organic eggs and chicken. I've always been concerned about the extra hormones in chicken and eggs and eggs are one of those great foods that I eat daily. 

 A recent article on TV said that girls as young as 7 years old in the USA are starting to reach puberty - 7!!!! They said that it is due to the high rate of obesity and also all the extra hormones children are ingesting which mimick estrogen.  It is also due to the chemicals that are present in our plastic bottles (yes, BABIES bottles!) and the linings of our tinned foods.

Yes, I know we can't change everything and we are going to be affected by all the chemicals present in our environment. Im certainly not trying to take the moral high ground at all. I am concerned about the fact that I have two autoimmune dieases and my children are at risk of developing both of these (1 in 22 chance of coeliacs) and the Endocrinologist said the girls are more predisposed to developing thyroid disease. Living with both of those conditions I will do anything I can to help prevent them developing them.

But by starting small I hope we can make significant changes that are positive for our health and our environment. Im also hoping it will enable our children to think critically about some of these issues. 

Here's the changes we are trying to make at the moment (I have more up my sleeve once my hubby gets used to these *grin*)

*switching to organic eggs and chicken

*moving towards eating organic meat

*moving towards eating organic fruit and veges

*making our own household cleaning products

Its a process and we are not going to get it right all the time, but I think its good to make small changes.

Inspired by Renee I have also made my first batch of homemade washing powder.  Renee found the recipe on Towards Sustainability (a great blog with heaps of eco friendly ideas and recipes). I havent tried it yet because the washing was all caught up to date yesterday... so watch this space :)  I used one bar of Sard in my batch, with 3 of sunlight soap. Ive always loved Sunlight soap and have fond memories of it being used in one of those plastic cage things to shake around in our dishwater when we went camping. Does anyone remember those? or what they are called? or where you might be able to get them now?

Next I am going to make the homemade dishwasher powder but we used all the salt for the recent play dough so will have to wait until our next supermarket visit. Renee has modified the recipe she found on Towards Sustainability and Im going to try her version of it.

Aside from our household changes...Ive also been making blog changes. Recently I changed the theme which Im really happy with and Ive been adding a few other new bits.  So... over to your right you will see a Friend Connect gadget, please add your name :)

Ive also added a new page at the top of my blog with some of the Christmas stockings I have made over the years. I was thinking I might do a Christmas stocking sew along ..... anyone interested?

Well this is a long post and I cant leave it without any photos so here's one... the christmas stocking I made for myself last year....

My stocking the 'piece de resitance'

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Creative space

After starting my morning off with such a downer post I thought Id better post something a bit more cheerful.

I have finally finished Bubba's little short sleeved cardigan.  She chose the wool - she LOVES green and Im so glad I let her choose because at least I know she'll be happy wearing it.

elise cardy

And the beautiful model, posing once again :)

elise cardigan

 And you too can make one of these - go here for the pattern.


Oh boy am I homesick today. You know that homesickness feeling where you just can't stop crying and you feel utterly totally miserable.. yep, thats me.   I dont like to use my blog to share stuff this personal but thats where things are at, at the moment and this is about being real.

My Dad's surgery yesterday was major, he's even part Australian now, thanks to the wonderful donation of ligament from a donor (who would have thought!).  He has had a really bad night and is being monitored by ICU.  He's a really tough cookie though and will be fighting hard to heal and get back on his feet.

My Mum is staying really positive and said she is certain today will be a much better day for him. She has wonderful support and I am ever so grateful to those people.

I am a mess.  I just want to be there, if nothing more than to give them both a hug.  This is by far the hardest time I have experienced living in another country, away from family. My eyes are like leaky taps that won't stop running.  Sadly, we aren't in a financial position for me to hop on a plane and go back and also I let something very stupid happen... my passport has expired.  So today Im sending it off to get renewed.

It has made me realise that we need to make plans to go home.  The experience of living in Australia is something I will always treasure. It has been an amazing journey. But at the end of the day, we are Kiwi and our family is important to us (more than twice a year visits).I want our children to experience the joy of having their grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncle nearby. 

Well, thats me for now... no pictures, total sad sack.. watch this space...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Prayers and thoughts for my Dad

This morning my Dad is having surgery, a knee replacement and hopefully they can straighten his leg. This surgery has a lot of hope pinned on it because it can potentially give him a much better quality of life.
It is really hard not being there.
Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts.

* edited to add*  Dad had a really long 5 hours of surgery and has spent 7 hours in recovery. He's very sick and borderline going to ICU.  He had his surgery with only an epidural!! madness!! he's one tough old cookie.  Keep those prayers coming, he's got a long recovery ahead of him.

Upcycling - clothes for my wee girl

Today I made Bubba an outfit using on old top of mine (which hasnt been worn much).  I used The Warhol pattern which I found at MADE.

I didnt take a picture of my top beforehand but here is the NOW...

elise outfit 3

I had some striped knit fabric in my stash so used that for the neckline and made her a pair of leggings.  The leggings were a total fluke. Just cut around an existing pair and hoped for the best. Then had to add a little ruffle of course!


And here's a picture of my friend Jacqui's beautiful 37 week pregnant tummy with the henna painting from her blessingway

jacqui henna tumhenna tum

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In love with Organic Cotton

Today I am going to a friends Baby Blessingway.  (so she cant read this post before hand!)

She has been busy sewing beautiful things for her new baby from this GORGEOUS  organic cotton - I am totally in love with the feel of this fabric and it will be hard to use ordinary fabric again.  So I made her a cushion to go in the baby's room....

 bunting cushion

the only thing is I grabbed the wrong fabric (aqua one) as I was in a hurry and the shop was really busy..... and of course because Im not spending I had to use it.

And then I made another card.. I am addicted to card making at the moment and of course it had to have bunting on it too!!!

miracle card

Little Miss Sunshine is off to a party today too, its a girls pamper party and sounds very fancy.  We bought her friend some Smiggle supplies (essential when you are 9 years old) and I made her a clip holder.

pink clip holder

And on Friday my darling wee  girl painted me this beautiful canvas.  She said its for my craft room. Pretty clever for a 4 1/2 year old I think!!!

elise painting

Hobby horse making

When my parents were staying and we were preparing for Mr Strong's  Wild West party my Mum and Dad and the kids had a ball making hobby horses to use for the horse races... and I forgot to post about them... so here they are!


Dont you love the big teeth on my Dad's one.. and Litttle Miss Sunshine's  had pretty ribbons and flowers, Sonic and Mums had lovely hats and there was even a Daisy the cow :) So much fun and kept my parents entertained for hours!

They were easy to make.  I picked up a packet of wooden cricket wickets at an Op shop for a couple of dollars.  We then used some old socks and lots of felt and ribbon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My creative space

My creative space this week has been making little bunting cards.


cards 2

 It started with one for a birthday present and they just sort of grew from there. I am thinking I might like to sell them at these local markets we have... well, I have a whole lot of things I want to sell, just lacking in confidence!

Go over to Kootoyoo and check out the other creative spaces for this week - so many talented people!

Traffic light play dough

Both my girls are sick today, full of snuffles and sore throats so they are supposed to be resting.. but they've just come and begged me to make some playdough.  I thought Id share our recipe as its a goodie and lasts for ages. Ive been making this one since Little Miss Sunshine was about 18months old so its tried and true.

traffic light playdough

The girls said it looks like a traffic light

(dont worry I do know the middle should be orange but you cant make bananas from orange playdough!)

Cooked Playdough

3c Flour

1 1/2 c salt

3 tblspn cooking oil

6 tsp cream of tartar

3 c water

Mix together in a large pot. Cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently until mixture leaves the side of the pot and forms a ball.

Turn out onto a work surface and knead.  I then divide it up and knead in the colours.  (if you just want one colour add it to the ingredients when you measure them into the pot).

Keeps indefinately if kept in an airtight container.

Slow blog!

I cant do much of a post because my blog is running soooooo slow! Its very frustrating.
Still itchy and grumpy. Not spending money is hard work. It seems like I am in a constant internal battle about it all the time... which means I really do have a problem. Anyhoo, back when this blog working.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shingles natural remedies anyone?

Today I got a rash... its nasty and itchy and red and feels like my skin is burning off.  It started on the left hand side of my abdomen and is now also a little bit on my left arm and the left side of my neck.... no pictures this post - its not worth sharing!

Last week I was feeling pretty yuck all week, hence the lack of blogging. I felt like I was getting the flu and was tired, aching, etc. I just wanted to sleep - a lot.  So Im not surprised I have something, just annoyed.

So I told the Doctor, no thank you to the antiviral medication that eases the symptoms 'a wee bit' but can cause liver damage! And took myself off to the health shop. Yep, I know, no spending this month.. but I figured, its my health and wellbeing, not my usual frivilous spending and I HAVE to get well. Im sure that has to fit in somewhere with the groceries and petrol necessities.

So now Im taking Vit C, Collodial Silver, Lysine and Selenium...

Im going to also try putting collodial silver straight on to the blisters and have heard Calendula is also good (which we have at home).

Does anyone else have any brilliant home grown remedies?

Monday, August 2, 2010

No Spend Month -Day 1

Well today was the first day of my No spend Month and welcome to Jennifer and Shruti who are joining me :)

It went quite well and I only visited the supermarket for some food and had to include a pack of crayons for a birthday gift I made for Bubba's friend.

I was excited to make all her gifts, including the card with things I had on hand.

hair clip board

A little clip holder with a yoyo clip

crayon roll 2crayon roll

a crayon roll (waiting for crayons!)birthday card

 The card took me about 5 minutes so Im definately going to make some more :)

So day one went really well spending wise.  Am feeling a bit yuck though with an ongoing cough, asthma and now a really itchy rash on my torso - annoying!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spend free August

 For the month of August 2010, I, Leonie, blogger and shopaholic, declare I will not spend money for one month (aside from the necessities of food and petrol).

(image from here)

I confess, I spend too much money and its time to get my habit in check. When we first moved to Australia I used to go to the local mall everyday but I think it was boredom and loneliness. Over time I have lost interest in the mall and only go there now if I absolutely have to and get in and out as fast as I can.  I actually hate going there now and thats probably a good thing. 

But alas, I have no problem visiting fabric or scrapbooking shops! And I have the cupboard to prove it!

So, in order to change my habits, make use of what we already have, save some money and make the hubby happy, I am going to have a no spend month.

I know its not a new concept and you can google it to find heaps of  links and great ideas.

For the month, this is what I am going to do :

  • I am going to get stuck into my 'works in progress' and finish some of them. 

  • I am going to make gifts to put away for Christmas. 

  • I am going to scrapbook and attempt to catch up somewhat (only about 4 years behind *gulp*)

  • I am going to attempt to make some homemade cleaning products with recipes from here and here

  • I am going to sort out stuff and purge our cupboards (started in Little Miss Sunshine's room today).

  • Im going to take things we dont use/need and pass them on to people who can.

  • Im going to list things on Ebay and not buy anything there too!

Of course I will have to buy us food but instead of my sometimes daily trips to the supermarket Im going to go only once a week!! and make do after that - phew!  And we will have to buy petrol because we live a little too far from school and its on a very busy road.

We will also make the most of our local library (which we visit frequently anyway), take walks and bike rides maybe even visit the beach (it was 26C  (78F)here today and its the middle of winter!!! I like it!)

SO - Would YOU like to join me?????

Leave me a comment and I will put a little list of those who are joining me on the sidebar (hopefully!) and then let me know how its going for you.  I am going to try to blog daily about the highs and lows of this adventure!!!

Right, now I have to go and spend some money because there's only 6 hours left until tomorrow!!! ... just kidding!